It is much more common than you think for people to walk away from a car crash unaware that they have just suffered a major injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have a strong association with car crashes, as collisions are one of the top causes of modern brain injuries.
Unfortunately, people who hurt themselves in a collision often fail to undergo medical evaluation quickly after the crash and may not notice the early symptoms of a TBI. An undiagnosed TBI will go untreated, which means it could progress and create worse symptoms.
When are you at risk of a traumatic brain injury after a car crash?
When you hit your head
The most obvious cause of a TBI in a collision would be when you strike your head on something. The steering wheel, the seat in front of you or the window next to you could all cause blunt force trauma that leads to bruising or bleeding inside your skull. Anyone who hits their head and is aware that they have done so would likely benefit from a professional medical evaluation after a car crash.
When you lose consciousness
One of the most unignorable warning signs of a TBI from a crash is blacking out or losing consciousness. Many people who injure their brains in a crash will faint during the collision. Even if you only lose consciousness for half a second, that is a warning sign that you may have injured your brain. Anyone who passes out during or after a crash should seek medical evaluation.
When the crash was extremely violent
The more aggressive the motion of the vehicle during the crash, the more likely the collision is to cause a brain injury due to your head shaking around. If the car rolls over or spins, that motion could lead to swelling and bruising inside your skull. Those who witness an explosion as a result of a crash could also develop a brain injury because of the percussive force of the explosion.
If you have a TBI after a car crash caused by another driver, car insurance may help cover medical costs and even lost wages. Securing a diagnosis is often an important step for those with a brain injury related to a car crash.